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History made as first Malaysian QC is called to local bar

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 30/9/2019 V Anbalagan
a man wearing a suit and tie: Steven Suppiah Perian (left) completed his pupillage under ‘master’ Muralee Menon. © Provided by FMT MEDIA SDN BHD Steven Suppiah Perian (left) completed his pupillage under ‘master’ Muralee Menon.

KUALA LUMPUR: Steven Suppiah Perian, who is practising in England and Wales, made history today for being the first Malaysian Queen’s Counsel to be admitted to the High Court of Malaya.

In a ceremony before judge Mariana Yahya, Perian’s admission was moved by George Varughese, the immediate past president of the Malaysian Bar.

Varughese said Perian, 57, who hails from Brickfields here, was not born with a

silver spoon in his mouth but came from humble beginnings.

“His father was a blue-collar worker and his mother a homemaker. However, the family were rich in spirit though not in income,” he said.

In 1983, Perian left Malaysia to pursue an external degree with the University of London. He worked part-time to self-finance himself while studying.

He graduated in 1986 and did his post-degree professional qualification in 1987, and the following year commenced his pupillage at one of the leading company law chambers in the UK.

In 1989, he joined the Crown Prosecution Service as a crown prosecutor and was quickly promoted as a special case work lawyer.

In 1995, he returned to the bar there and three years ago, was appointed as Queen’s Counsel.

Perian is a member of the Panel of Advocates at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) dealing with international arbitration. He is also a registered civil and commercial mediator and an affiliate of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Varughese said Perian is also recognised in the Legal 500 UK as one of the leading QCs in crime in London.

“He is described in Legal 500 as having ‘an analytical mind and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law’,” he said.

“He is constantly instructed in high-level complex criminal work, prosecuting and defending clients, among others, in money laundering, complex fraud, murder, gang violence and drugs cases.”

Perian started his three-month pupillage in September last year under master Muralee Menon. He left for the UK to continue his practice there but returned last Friday to officially gain admission to the local bar.

Breaking tradition, Muralee, who addressed Mariana, said that his pupil was the epitome of what persons with diligence, determination and discipline could achieve in their chosen career.

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